Lessons in Solo Travel
Does the thought of solo travel absolutely terrify you? You’re not alone. Many people choose to travel in groups. Perhaps with their family, partner, or loved ones. There are many reasons why group travel may seem preferable. I know because I’ve thought all of them before!
That was, until I travelled solo.
My lessons in solo travel began at age twenty. I graduated university and I couldn’t wait to escape my small town.
If the thought of traveling solo seems daunting to you or if it’s something you’ve never even considered for yourself, that might mean it’s time for you to give it a try.
Not only is it a great idea to step out of your comfort zone and conquer your fears, but solo travel yields many benefits in the way of self-discovery.
You don’t need a travel companion to enjoy yourself, explore a new country, or embrace a culture, unlike one you’ve never been immersed in before. These are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned over years travelling solo.
Rediscover Your Likes and Dislikes
You might think that by this time of your life you know all about what you like and what you don’t. However, when you’re constantly surrounded by other people you’re likely going to adopt some of their same preferences and lose sight of what you truly enjoy.
When you travel solo, you’re the one in the driver’s seat and the one calling the shots. You get to decide every little detail of your trip. From the amount of time you spend at a particular destination to the restaurants you eat at.
When you don’t have to take consideration of the needs and desires of others, you get to have everything your way and be selfish with your time. In a good way of course!
Sometimes we need time away to rediscover our interests and passions.
The most me I have ever felt is when I’m on the road solo getting back in touch with my goals. After some time alone I can go back home and kick these into gear without worry.
As far as lessons in solo travel go, knowing yourself better is a life lesson some take years to grasp.
Make your Own Decisions
If you find that others often make a lot of your decisions for you, it’s time for you to try out solo travel. Solo travel requires you to truly take charge and figure things out, even when things go awry.
There are so many memories I have missing planes, catching the wrong train or arriving at the wrong hotel. Those small things going wrong prepared me for the big things. If it wasn’t for those small problems, I never would have managed so well when I was robbed. In the middle of the night, like you think you only see in movies, robbed.
Learning to make my own decisions led me to this moment. Sure, I wish I didn’t make friends with someone who would eventually rob me. But how could I have known!?
Making decisions for yourself makes you accountable. You quickly realise that you are in the driver’s seat of your own fate. If you do something wrong, you have to deal with it. If you make a good decision, you get to enjoy the rewards.
All of a sudden you stop relying on anyone else and start by making your own choices.
Quiet Time Can Be a Good Thing
In this day and age, we are obsessed with distractions. We want to be constantly entertained and stimulated from the time we get up to the time we go to bed. There is noise around us all the time, so much so that we don’t always notice it because we are simply used to it being there.
Many people have the television on in the background throughout a major portion of the day simply as a form of background noise. Many even fall asleep with the television still on. If it’s not the TV it is likely music, which can now be easily accessed at any time of the day due to the convenience of smartphones. Technology can make it so that we don’t ever have to be bored or endure a moment of silence, which is conveyed to be a negative thing.
Beauty in Silence
Nevertheless, there are so many benefits of silence that are overlooked. Taking time to just be quiet allows us to truly think clearly and get a fresh perspective. It allows for a new mindset and can even cut down on anxiety and depression.
Heading out for a solo adventure allows you the chance to have some peace. You can spend some time hiking in nature or even take the time to finish a good book while laying on the beach. There won’t be the distraction of chatter in the background and you can re-center and re-focus so you can return to your daily life feeling renewed and rejuvenated.
Hiking and adventure travel go hand in hand. You might have noticed over the last few years I have been taking more and more time offline. This has helped me to reconnect on a different level. I’ve been spending much more time outdoors and in nature. It is amazing to look back at the person I was and the person I’ve become. I encourage you to try it!
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